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Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988), Founder-choreographer and Director of the Royal Ballet

Sitter in 29 portraits
Founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet. Encouraged by Marie Rambert, Ashton created his first ballet A Tragedy of Fashion in 1926. He choreographed several pieces for the Vic-Wells Ballet before joining the Company in 1935. As resident choreographer, he worked with the young Fonteyn, who became his life-long muse. Among his greatest ballets are Symphonic Variations (1946), Scènes de Ballet (1948), La Fille mal gardée (1960), The Dream (1964) and A Month in the Country (1976). Knighted in 1962, he became director of the Company the following year. Ashton was made a Companion of Honour in 1970 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1977.